How to Identify a Weasel

Weasels have long, slender bodies with comparatively short legs. This gives them a distinct, rolling gait in which their bodies bend upward, reminiscent of an inchworm. Long necks, small heads, and rounded ears are other characteristic traits. Size varies, but most weasels are 15 to 24 inches long, including their tails. Coloring is usually brown, gray, or black with markings ranging from white to yellow. In the winter, their fur changes to all white. The pests are closely related to ferrets, minks, and polecats and are often confused with these animals.

Where Weasels Live

Adaptable to many habitats, the weasel can be found in wooded areas, along waterways, under tree roots, in piles of rocks, and in high-density plant growth. There are three species living in North America. Alaska, Canada, the Great Lakes region, and most of the northeast and northwest play host to the short-tailed weasel. Many of these same areas also have the least weasel, named for its smaller size. Long-tailed weasels, sometimes called bridled weasels for their masked faces, are found from Kansas down into Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

Damage & Removal

Farmers sometimes have to contend with weasels because they are attracted to poultry cages and will attack chickens for food. As ruthless predators of small rodents, reptiles, and amphibians, they can leave the bodies of their victims strewn about properties, creating a gruesome scene. Sometimes weasels will also nest in equipment left inside barns or garages. To keep the pests out of yards, contact the wildlife experts at Critter Control.